Duncan Family Farms® Uplifts Local Communities and Schools; Patty Emmert Details
GOODYEAR, AZ - I think I can speak for a lot of consumers when I say I am so much more excited to support a brand when I know the company behind it has a set of values that benefits the community. Duncan Family Farms® is definitely one of those companies, staying true to its motto of “Taking Care of the Land. Taking Care of People™.” With a foundation rooted in education outreach to children and families, the supplier takes a committed approach to supporting its neighboring communities and schools.
“We believe that in order to provide our customers with the very best produce, we must be in touch with the community. This mindset guides all of our decisions,” said Patty Emmert, Community Relations and Marketing Manager. “We believe that everyone has the right to healthy, life-giving food, and many times the infrastructure is not in place to facilitate the proper access to these foods. Since our farms are located in different communities across several states, it is important for us to be thoughtful and understand that each community is unique, and their needs may differ. We have found that collaboration alongside other community members that are already engaged and doing great work in food access and education initiatives provides us with the ability to support specifically where outreach is needed most.”
This heightened commitment is demonstrated by the company’s involvement with many organizations and initiatives geared toward uplifting its communities. Duncan Family Farms has been involved with the Arizona Farm to School Network since 2011, and sits on the Board as a Production Chair for the organization, working directly with the network of business professionals to get more fresh, sustainable food into the school systems. The supplier has also participated in the Blue Watermelon Project since 2017, supporting the organization via various volunteer projects and sponsoring its annual Feeding the Future Event.
In addition, Duncan also sponsors the summer camp salad bar for Tiny Mighty Strong in Merrill, Oregon, and aligns with the Blue Watermelon Project to teach campers gardening and cooking techniques and expand their knowledge of fresh food.
“It is so important to continue to teach kids healthy eating habits and insight into how their food is grown at an early, impressionable age to help increase the likelihood of healthier lifestyles down the road,” Patty continues. “Participating in activities around school gardens and taste education have shown that children become more likely to eat vegetables, even as snacks, and to ask family members to buy vegetables for them. These healthy habits continue into adulthood.”
Duncan Family Farms’ dedication to this cause dates back to the ’80s, when Arnott and Kathleen Duncan first set out to combine their passions for education and farming.
During more than 20 years of vacationing in Puerto Penasco with her family, Kathleen was heartbroken to discover that a lack of resources was forcing the parents of young people throughout this community to choose between sending their children to school and meeting their basic needs. In 2016, she founded Steps of Love, which merged into Esperanҫa in October 2021. In partnership with Kathleen and the Steps of Love donors, Esperanҫa will continue to support Educarte AIM Penasco, which employs more than 15 professionals to support over 600 students and operates seven homework clubs throughout the community, so that it can continue its invaluable work in Mexico.
As the company continues to make admirable strides toward helping its community, ANUK will be here to report.